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U2 and their 1997 concert in Sarajevo are the focus of new doc ‘Kiss the Future’

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Bono in Sarajevo, 1995; In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

If you saw U2‘s Zoo TV tour, you may remember that among the videos and transmissions shown on the wall of TV monitors onstage were dispatches from Sarajevo, which at the time was under siege during the Bosnian War. Now, the band’s role in helping the people of Sarajevo, culminating in their concert there in 1997, is the subject of a new documentary called Kiss the Future.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film features interviews with BonoThe Edge and Adam Clayton, politicians and others. It describes how a photographer and filmmaker named Bill Carter — who wrote the documentary — wangled an interview with Bono and convinced him that the people of Sarajevo needed help. 

The band was fired up by what Carter told them, but after U2’s management nixed Bono’s idea of doing a concert there right way, they started incorporating those video transmissions into the tour.

“We gave them a serious dose of uneditorialized reality in the middle of our show,” The Edge says in the film. However, as Bono notes, they eventually stopped because “it started to look a little bit like reality TV, using people’s pain and anguish for entertainment.” Still, U2 continued bringing attention to the cause, recording the song “Miss Sarajevo” as part of their side project, Passengers.

The war officially ended in 1995, and U2 finally was able to come to Sarajevo in 1997 and do a full-scale concert.  As one attendee recalls, “The war ended the moment U2 came onstage.”

Produced by, among others Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, Kiss the Future premiered over the weekend at the Berlin International Film Festival.

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